Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book launch: What Science Knows... by James Franklin

Associates of the SCFS are invited to the launch of Jim Franklin's new book, What Science Knows... and how it knows it, which will take place in the Skeleton Gallery at the Australian Museum, 6 College St, at 6-7pm, on Tuesday 15 December. Professor David Armstrong AO, and Alan Saunders, host of ABC Radio's Philosopher's Zone (and SCFS advisor) will be speaking.

Please rsvp by December 8 to: or 9385 7093.

What Science Knows will appeal to anyone who wants a sound, readable, and well-paced introduction to the intellectual edifice that is science. On the other hand it will not please the enemies of science, whose willful misunderstandings of scientific method and the relation of evidence to conclusions Franklin mercilessly exposes.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rethinking Mind & Cosmos Graduate Philosophy Conference at the University of Sydney

To be held over two days this Thursday the 19th and Friday the 20th of November at the University of Sydney, Education Lecture Room 424, Education Building, Manning Rd.

No registration required, all are welcome. Coffee and tea will be provided. Abstracts and further details

Thursday 19th November

9:15 - 10:45
Keynote Speaker - Daniel Stoljar: Knowledge and Perception

10:45 - 12:15
Jamin Asay: Truth, Truthmaking and Realism
Alison Fernandes

12:15 - 1:30
Lunch (not provided)

1:30 - 3:00
Sam Baron: Tense and Two-dimensionalism
Ian Lawson

3:00 - 3:15
Afternoon Tea

3:15 - 4:45
Glenn Carruthers: A Metacognitive Model of the Sense of Agency over Thoughts
Melanie Rosen

Friday 20th of November

9:15 - 10:45
Dan Haggard: The Semantic Ladder and Scientific Realism
Talia Morag

10:45 - 12:15
Raamy Majeed: Problems of Experiential Deflationism for Representationalism
Lise Marie Andersen

12:15 - 1:30
Lunch (not provided)

1:30 - 3:00
Kelby Mason: The Return of Religious Non-cognitivism
Matthew Hammerton

3:00 - 4:30
Stef Savanah: The Fundamental Dichotomy of Self Consciousness
Peter Farleigh

4:30 - 4:45
Afternoon Tea

4:45 - 6:15
Keynote Speaker - Nic Damnjanovic: Revelation for the Masses

Hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Origin of the Universe and the Arrow of Time

Professor Sean Carroll, Caltech

Monday 16th November 2009
6 pm - 6.50 pm with discussion 6.50 pm - 7.30 pm
Eastern Avenue Auditorium, The University of Sydney
All welcome, admission free

One of the most obvious facts about the universe is that the past is different from the future. The world around us is full of irreversible processes: we can turn an egg into an omelet, but can't turn an omelet into an egg. Physicists have codified this difference into the Second Law of Thermodynamics: the entropy of a closed system always increases with time. But why? The ultimate explanation is to be found in cosmology: special conditions in the early universe are responsible for the arrow of time. I will talk about the nature of time, the origin of entropy and how what happened before the Big Bang might be responsible for the arrow of time we observe today.

Sean Carroll
is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Harvard University and has previously worked at MIT, the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Chicago. His research ranges over a number of topics in theoretical physics, focusing on cosmology, particle physics and general relativity. He is the author of From Eternity to Here, a popular book on cosmology and the arrow of time; Spacetime and Geometry, a textbook on general relativity; and has produced a set of introductory lectures for The Teaching Company entitled Dark Matter and Dark Energy: The Dark Side of the Universe. Carroll is a co-founder of the popular science blog Cosmic Variance ( He was recently awarded the 2009 Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator award. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, writer Jennifer Ouellette.

This event is jointly sponsored by the University of Sydney’s Centre for the Human Aspects of Science and Technology (CHAST), the Centre for Time and the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science, and supported by the Australian Institute for High Energy Physics (AUSHEP).

Monday, November 2, 2009

ARC Discovery Project grant

Congratulations to SCFS's Stephen Gaukroger who, with Anik Waldow, received an ARC Discovery Project grant for "The rise of empiricism and the attempt to produce a unified understanding of the world, 1680-1750"

NSW Premier's History Award winner

Congratulations to SCFS's Warwick Anderson, who has won the major prize in the NSW Premier's History Awards, for his book The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen.